FARMINGTON — The Farmington City Council will vote Tuesday to approve a contractor for a nearly $2 million museum expansion project.

City's staff are recommending that council members award the bid to Mick Rich Contractors, an Albuquerque-based company, for $1.9 million, according to the agenda for the city council's work session on Tuesday morning.

City Manager Rob Mayes said the bid for the project is within project estimates and the amount the city already earmarked for the project. The city issued bonds to pay for the expansion project when counselors approved the project a year ago, Mayes said.

"The proceeds are in hand and we have to fulfill the obligations to the bonds," he said.

Tom Cunningham, the curator of exhibits at Farmington Museum at Gateway Park, said the project will pave the way for a much larger chunk of the museum to be dedicated to the San Juan Basin's energy industry.

About 7,500 of the 10,000-square-foot addition will serve as exhibit space for the energy industry, he said. The museum currently has 1,500 square feet dedicated to oil and gas.

The new energy exhibit will showcase oil, gas and coal but will also have information on alternative forms of energy, he said.

The rest of the museum will be dedicated to Farmington history and traveling exhibits, he said.

"We're excited to get started," he said. "I think everyone will want to come more than once.



Mayes said the project will likely be completed nine months to a year after a contractor is chosen.

Mayes said Farmington already has the money needed to complete the expansion and the project will have no effect on the budget deficit facing the city.

The city is facing a more than $4 million dollar deficit primarily stemming from a significant decrease in tax revenue, which is not expected to cover the city's operating expenses.

"There's only two ways to deal with going forward with our operational deficit," Mayes said. "Either revenue has to be increased or expenses have to be decreased."

Ryan Boetel may be reached at; 505-564-4644. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel